220 Questions to Ask Your English Teacher

English, with its maze of grammar rules, endless vocabulary, and intricate literature, is a subject that almost begs questions.

Whether you’re a language enthusiast or someone trying to get a grip on the basics, knowing what to ask your English teacher can make a world of difference in your learning journey.

About College and Career Paths

  1. How did you decide on studying English in college?
  2. What other majors did you consider before settling on English?
  3. How do the skills learned in English courses transfer to other career paths?
  4. Are there particular colleges or universities you recommend for studying English or literature?
  5. How did your college experience shape your current career?
  6. How can an English major prepare me for careers outside of teaching or writing?
  7. Did you pursue internships during college? If so, how did they help you?
  8. How valuable would you say a graduate degree in English is?
  9. What job opportunities are available for English majors besides teaching?
  10. How did you transition from college to your first job?
  11. What kind of portfolio should I build as an English student to show to potential employers?
  12. Can you recommend any authors or books that influenced your college and career decisions?
  13. How do you stay updated in the field of English and literature?
  14. What’s the most rewarding part of your career as an English teacher?
  15. What challenges did you face in your early career, and how did you overcome them?
  16. How do you feel about the intersection of technology and the English field?
  17. What additional skills or courses would you recommend to supplement an English degree?
  18. Are there any online resources or communities you’d suggest for English majors to explore?
  19. How important are grades versus real-world experience in the English field?
  20. How do you approach continuous learning in your career?

About Grading Policies

  1. Can you provide a detailed breakdown of how grades are assigned in this course?
  2. Is there a rubric or guideline for how essays and assignments are graded?
  3. How much do participation, homework, quizzes, tests, and projects each contribute to the final grade?
  4. How do you assess class participation?
  5. Are there opportunities for extra credit?
  6. If I disagree with a grade, is there a process for discussing or contesting it?
  7. Do you drop the lowest grade from a specific category (e.g., quizzes or homework)?
  8. How do you approach grading group projects?
  9. Are late assignments accepted? If so, is there a penalty?
  10. How do you evaluate the quality of research sources in written assignments?
  11. Is attendance factored into our grade?
  12. What’s the difference, in terms of grading, between an A paper and a B paper in your eyes?
  13. How can I ensure that my essays meet the criteria for the highest possible grade?
  14. What is your policy on plagiarism and academic dishonesty?
  15. Are drafts or revisions of assignments allowed before the final submission?
  16. Is grammar and punctuation a significant part of the grading for essays?
  17. Can students collaborate on homework assignments, or should all work be done individually?
  18. Do you offer feedback on assignments even if they received a good grade?
  19. How soon after an assignment or test can we expect to receive our grades?
  20. If I’m struggling with the material, how can that be addressed in terms of grading and support?

About Class Participation

  1. How do you define effective class participation?
  2. How much does class participation contribute to our overall grade?
  3. What behaviors or actions are you looking for when you evaluate participation?
  4. Are there specific actions or contributions that could negatively affect our participation grade?
  5. How do you differentiate between quantity and quality of participation?
  6. How do you feel about students asking questions if they’re unsure about the material?
  7. How do you accommodate students who may be shy or have difficulty speaking up in class?
  8. Are there alternative ways to participate if a student isn’t comfortable speaking in front of the whole class?
  9. Do you keep a record of each student’s participation, or is it evaluated more holistically?
  10. How can a student improve their participation grade throughout the semester?
  11. Do group discussions or pair work factor into our participation grade?
  12. How do you handle situations when a student dominates the discussion?
  13. Is being prepared for class, such as having read the assigned material, a part of the participation grade?
  14. How do you approach participation in online or hybrid class settings?
  15. How do you encourage a respectful and inclusive classroom discussion environment?
  16. What’s your perspective on students who actively listen but may not speak as frequently?
  17. Do you offer feedback to students about their participation throughout the course?
  18. How do debates or class presentations factor into the participation grade?
  19. How do you handle off-topic contributions in class discussions?
  20. How can students approach you if they’re concerned about their participation or want to discuss strategies to participate more?

About Classroom Expectations

  1. What are the main rules or guidelines you have for classroom behavior?
  2. How do you define a respectful classroom environment?
  3. What are your expectations regarding the use of electronic devices like cell phones and laptops during class?
  4. How would you like students to address you (e.g., Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr.)?
  5. What is the proper procedure if we need to leave the classroom during a lesson?
  6. How do you feel about side conversations or discussions while you or another student is speaking?
  7. What should students do if they arrive late to class?
  8. What’s your policy on food or drinks in the classroom?
  9. How would you like students to prepare for each class session?
  10. How do you want students to signal if they have a question or comment?
  11. How do you approach different learning styles or needs in the classroom?
  12. What’s the best way for students to communicate with you outside of class hours?
  13. What are the consequences of not meeting classroom expectations?
  14. What materials or tools should students always bring to class?
  15. Are there any specific guidelines for presenting or sharing work in front of the class?
  16. How do you manage sensitive topics or discussions in the classroom?
  17. How should students approach you if they’re struggling with the material?
  18. Are there guidelines or expectations for collaborating with classmates on assignments or projects?
  19. How do you approach cultural or personal differences in the classroom to ensure inclusivity?
  20. What’s the most important thing you want students to remember about your classroom expectations?

About Homework Assignments

  1. How often can I expect to receive homework assignments?
  2. What is the primary purpose or goal of homework in this course?
  3. How is homework weighted in comparison to other graded components?
  4. Are there specific formatting guidelines for written assignments (e.g., MLA, APA)?
  5. What online platforms or tools, if any, are used for homework submission?
  6. How flexible are you with homework deadlines?
  7. What types of assignments can we expect (e.g., essays, reading responses, research projects)?
  8. Are there resources you’d recommend to help us with homework tasks?
  9. Do you provide feedback on submitted homework, and if so, how detailed?
  10. How do you handle situations where a student consistently struggles with homework assignments?
  11. Are collaborative or group homework assignments a part of this course?
  12. What’s your policy on academic integrity and citing sources in homework?
  13. Is there a set schedule for homework assignments, or are they given based on class progress?
  14. Do you have any tips for effective time management for larger assignments?
  15. What’s the best way to handle a topic or question I find challenging in the homework?
  16. How do you accommodate different learning styles or paces in the homework assignments?
  17. How closely should homework assignments align with class discussions or readings?
  18. If I miss a class, how can I ensure I’m still on track with homework assignments?
  19. Are draft submissions or revisions allowed for certain assignments?
  20. If we have ideas or topics we’re passionate about, can we incorporate them into our homework assignments?

About Future Lessons

  1. Can you give an overview of the main topics we’ll cover this semester/year?
  2. What literary periods or authors will we be focusing on in the coming weeks?
  3. Are there any specific books or novels you recommend we purchase or borrow in advance?
  4. Will we be exploring any non-traditional forms of literature, like graphic novels or multimedia narratives?
  5. How do you incorporate contemporary literature or authors into our lessons?
  6. Are there any thematic units or projects planned for the future?
  7. How will we be approaching the study of poetry in this course?
  8. Are there lessons or units that focus on critical theory or literary analysis frameworks?
  9. How do you incorporate diverse voices and perspectives into our readings and discussions?
  10. Will we have guest speakers or external resources to enhance certain lessons?
  11. Are there any planned field trips or off-campus learning experiences related to our lessons?
  12. Will we be engaging in any creative writing or personal narrative assignments?
  13. What role will film or cinematic adaptations play in our study of literature?
  14. Will we have opportunities to present or lead discussions on specific topics?
  15. Will we be exploring literature from non-English speaking countries or translations?
  16. How will we approach the study of drama or plays in this course?
  17. Are there any special projects or assignments we should start preparing for in advance?
  18. How do you plan to integrate technology or digital tools into future lessons?
  19. Are there any themes or motifs that we’ll repeatedly encounter throughout the course?
  20. Are there any skills or competencies you hope we’ll gain by the end of this course based on the upcoming lessons?

About Extra Help

  1. What’s the best way to approach you if I’m struggling with a particular topic?
  2. Do you offer office hours or specific times outside of class when you’re available for questions?
  3. Are there any tutoring programs or peer mentoring sessions you’d recommend?
  4. Do you have supplemental materials or resources for topics I might find challenging?
  5. How should I prepare before seeking extra help to make our session more productive?
  6. Is there a study group or collaborative learning group I can join for this course?
  7. Are there online platforms or forums where students discuss course materials and seek assistance?
  8. Do you have strategies or techniques to recommend for improving reading comprehension or writing skills?
  9. If I need help with multiple topics, would it be better to address them in one session or spread them out over multiple sessions?
  10. Are there any workshops or seminars happening on campus that you think might benefit me?
  11. How open are you to reviewing drafts or outlines of my assignments before the final submission?
  12. Do you know of any external websites or online courses that could provide additional insight into our class topics?
  13. If you’re not available, is there another teacher or teaching assistant you’d recommend for extra help?
  14. Are there any reference books or guides in the school library that you’d suggest for further reading?
  15. How do you suggest I prioritize areas that need improvement?
  16. Are there specific study habits or routines you recommend to better understand the course material?
  17. Do you think individual tutoring or group study sessions would be more beneficial for me?
  18. How can I track or measure my progress after seeking extra help?
  19. Are there past students who excelled in this course whom I could reach out to for advice or mentorship?
  20. If I consistently struggle despite seeking extra help, what other steps or accommodations can be considered?

About Reading Materials

  1. How do you select the reading materials for this course?
  2. Are there any primary texts that you believe every student should read in this subject?
  3. How do the reading materials reflect the diversity of authors and perspectives in literature?
  4. Are there any contemporary authors or works included in our reading list?
  5. How do the reading materials align with the main objectives or themes of this course?
  6. Are there supplementary readings or materials that can provide additional context to the primary texts?
  7. How do you suggest we approach challenging or dense texts?
  8. Do you have any strategies for annotating or taking notes while reading?
  9. Are there specific editions or translations of the texts that you recommend?
  10. How do the reading materials connect to broader historical or cultural events?
  11. Are we going to study any non-fiction works or critical essays alongside the literary texts?
  12. Do you have any recommendations for audiobooks or dramatic readings of the texts?
  13. How can we engage in critical thinking or discussions around the reading materials?
  14. Are there any banned or controversial books that we’ll explore, and how will we approach them?
  15. What’s the best way to pace our reading to stay aligned with the course schedule?
  16. How do you view the role of literature in reflecting or challenging societal norms based on our reading materials?
  17. Are there any literary journals or magazines you’d recommend to complement our course readings?
  18. Will we be comparing the original texts with their adaptations, such as films or plays?
  19. How can we utilize secondary sources or critiques when studying primary reading materials?
  20. Are there any upcoming authors or literary movements you think we should be aware of beyond the current reading list?

About Writing Tips

  1. How can I develop a strong thesis or main argument for my essays?
  2. What strategies do you recommend for effective brainstorming or outlining?
  3. How can I improve the flow and coherence of my writing?
  4. Are there common grammatical or stylistic errors I should watch out for?
  5. What’s your advice on finding and integrating credible sources or citations?
  6. How can I effectively write a compelling introduction and conclusion?
  7. Do you have tips for maintaining a consistent voice or tone in my writing?
  8. What strategies do you recommend for editing and revising my drafts?
  9. How can I expand my vocabulary and avoid repetitive language?
  10. Are there any tools or software that can aid in the writing process?
  11. How do you approach writing under time constraints, like for exams or in-class essays?
  12. Do you have any reading recommendations that exemplify excellent writing techniques?
  13. How can I ensure my writing is clear and concise without oversimplifying?
  14. Are there specific structures or formats you recommend for different types of essays?
  15. How can I effectively use transition words or phrases to enhance the flow of my essay?
  16. Do you have any tips for balancing narrative and analysis in my writing?
  17. How can I work on creating engaging and varied sentence structures?
  18. What’s your advice on avoiding plagiarism and ensuring originality in my work?
  19. Are there any writing exercises or prompts you suggest to improve my skills outside of assignments?
  20. How do you recommend handling feedback or criticism to refine my writing further?

About Test Preparation

  1. What topics or units will the upcoming test primarily focus on?
  2. Will the test be multiple-choice, short-answer, essay-based, or a combination of these?
  3. Are there any practice tests or sample questions available for review?
  4. How closely do classroom discussions and homework assignments align with the test material?
  5. Do you have any recommended study techniques specifically for this subject?
  6. How should I allocate my time when studying for different sections of the test?
  7. Are there any pitfalls or common mistakes students often make on this type of test?
  8. Will the test include questions on literary terms or specific analytical frameworks?
  9. How much weight is given to the understanding of themes versus specific details like quotations or character names?
  10. Are there any resources, like study guides or review sheets, that you provide or recommend?
  11. How do you suggest we handle time management during the test itself?
  12. Will we need to recall specific citations or page numbers from the reading materials?
  13. Is it beneficial to form a study group for test preparation, or is this exam more suited for individual review?
  14. Are there particular areas where students typically struggle that we should pay extra attention to?
  15. Will the test include any questions that require us to synthesize information from multiple texts or units?
  16. How much emphasis is placed on spelling and grammar in written responses?
  17. Should we expect questions that connect the material to a broader historical or cultural context?
  18. Will the test questions follow the order of the topics as they were taught, or will they be randomized?
  19. Do you have any calming techniques or mindfulness practices you recommend for test anxiety?
  20. After the test, what’s the procedure for reviewing our answers and understanding our mistakes?

In an Interview

  1. What inspired you to become an English teacher?
  2. How do you stay updated with the latest in literature and English teaching methodologies?
  3. What’s your teaching philosophy, especially when it comes to the English language and literature?
  4. How do you adapt your teaching methods to cater to students with diverse learning needs?
  5. What’s the most challenging text or topic to teach, and how do you approach it?
  6. How do you foster a love for reading in students who might be resistant or indifferent to it?
  7. Are there any modern authors or books you believe should be included in the curriculum?
  8. How do you handle discussions around controversial or sensitive topics in literature?
  9. How has the digital age influenced or changed the way you teach English?
  10. What role does cultural context play in your teaching of classic and contemporary texts?
  11. How do you encourage students to think critically and form their own interpretations of texts?
  12. How do you help students who struggle with writing to improve and express themselves?
  13. What’s one book you believe everyone should read in their lifetime and why?
  14. How do you address the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of students in your discussions and reading choices?
  15. What’s the most rewarding aspect of being an English teacher?
  16. How do you manage to keep older texts relevant and engaging for today’s students?
  17. What advice would you give to someone considering a career in English education?
  18. How do you approach topics of representation and diversity in literature?
  19. How do you view the future of English education, especially in an increasingly digital and globalized world?
  20. Are there specific teaching moments or successes that stand out in your career?

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my question has already been answered in previous classes?

It’s still okay to ask for clarification if you don’t fully understand a concept, even if it’s been covered before. Consider:

Checking Your Notes First: Review your own resources to see if the answer is there.
Asking for a Quick Recap: Politely ask if the teacher can offer a brief explanation or point you to where in your notes/book you can find the information.

Can I challenge an answer if I believe it’s incorrect or incomplete?

Yes, but it should be done respectfully and constructively. Frame your challenge as a question or express it as seeking further clarification.

For example:
I found a different interpretation in another source; could we discuss how they might both be valid?
I’m still a bit confused about this part; can you please explain it further?

Final Thoughts

By making the most out of your interactions with your English teacher, not only will you uncover answers to your most pressing queries, but you’ll also build a lasting foundation for your educational journey. Now, with these insightful questions, you’re all set to embark on a more engaging, enlightening, and exciting learning experience.

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Bea is an editor and writer with a passion for literature and self-improvement. Her ability to combine these two interests enables her to write informative and thought-provoking articles that positively impact society. She enjoys reading stories and listening to music in her spare time.